Family Old World Sparrows (Passeridae)

Least Concern

Parrot-billed Sparrow (Passer gongonensis)


French: Moineau perroquet German: Papageischnabelsperling Spanish: Gorrión picogordo

Pseudostruthus gongonensis


, 1890,

Gongoni, near Mombasa, Kenya


Part of the “P. griseus group”; see remarks under that species. Monotypic.


Extreme SE South Sudan, S Ethiopia, S Somalia, extreme E Uganda, most of Kenya, and extreme NE Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

18 cm; 33·5–48 g. The largest of the African grey-headed sparrows; ­distinctive heavy arched bill gives "Roman-nosed" appearance. Head, neck and... read more


Call "choop", can be combined in a series of similar notes to produce a song, "choop chyop choop... read more


Open country and bush, extending into light woodland; in more arid country than that in which other... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly a seed-eater; recorded as taking bread and other scraps from the ground at lodges and picnic sites. Nestling diet not recorded,... read more


Throughout year in different parts of range, breeding coinciding with rains, but also in dry season where irrigated cultivation. Nest an... read more


No information.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common in most of range; uncommon in Sudan. Numbers apparently stable.

Recommended citation

Summers-Smith, D. (2019). Parrot-billed Sparrow (Passer gongonensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 13 December 2019).